Classic Golden Ring tour

8 Days 7 Nights Countrysite All Year Golden ring

Tours  Golden Ring Classic Golden Ring tour

  A classic tour around the Golden Ring of Russia. On this tour you will visit all the main cities on the route including VladimirSuzdal, Ivanovo, Plyos, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Sergiev Posad and Pereslavl-Zalessky. You will complete the whole circle and travel across the area known as Opolye with its meadows, to the Volga and to the Zalessya part of Russia characterised by its forests.

  Before booking such excursion you should consider that the main sights in these cities are the churches and monasteries with their frescos, architecture and icons, so after a while the sights might all start seeming the same to you. However the Golden Ring cities have played an important role in the history of the country and this tour will allow you to immerse yourself in Russian history, culture and provincial life. You will see real masterpieces of Russian culture and architecture as well as beautiful natural scenes of forests, meadows, birch woods and lakes.

  The excursion will go at a rather quick pace and each day will see you visiting a new city and travelling to the next one by car, however if you would prefer a slower pace it can be arranged upon request. The longest transfer between cities by car is 80km. On your trip you will see the main cathedrals, historical buildings and other sights of all three cities and find out a lot about the history of mediaeval Rus.

  You will not be accompanied with a guide when travelling on the route, but local guides will take you on excursions in the cities themselves. At your request and for an additional fee, we can add a guide to accompany you on the whole route.

 Total distance of the tour: 728km  -  191km |  537km






 Morning transfer from your hotel to Moscow’s Vostochny Railway Station. The driver will wait for you in the reception of the hotel with a sign saying .

 Lastochka express train to Vladimir.

 Duration: 2 hours

Arrival in Vladimir and transfer to the starting point of the excursion. The driver will meet you outside your carriage with a sign saying .

 City tour of Vladimir – Vladimir was once the mediaeval capital of the Russian state and so is an important city in terms of Russian history. The highlights of this tour include:

  • Dormition Cathedral - the main cathedral of the city. For over 200 years this cathedral held the revered Our Lady of Vladimir Icon, which Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky brought from Vyshgorod in Ukraine to Vladimir. The icon was later transferred to Moscow and can now be seen in the Tretyakov Gallery. According to legend, the icon was created by Luke the Evangelist.
  • Golden Gates - a rare monument of Russian 12th century defensive architecture and all that remains of the walls which once surrounded Vladimir.
  • St Demetrius’ Cathedral - one of the most remarkable monuments of mediaeval Rus. It was built in the 1190s as a palace temple of Grand Prince Vsevolod the Big Nest of Vladimir and is decorated on the outside with engravings of plants and animals, while the interior still retains fragments of frescos by Andrey Rublev.

 Duration: 2 hours |  Transportation: by car

 Transfer from Vladimir to your hotel in Suzdal.

 Distance: 40km

 Night in Suzdal.


  Breakfast in the hotel.

  City tour of Suzdal - Suzdal is perhaps the highlight of the Golden Ring, as the whole city is an open-air museum thanks to it being practically unspoiled by modernisation and industrialisation. On this excursion you will visit:

  • Suzdal Kremlin - this is the oldest part and historical core of the city. Although the kremlin's walls no longer stand, parts of the earthen mound fortifications do remain. The buildings inside the kremlin are now used as museums.
  • Nativity Cathedral (1222) – the kremlin’s cathedral is the Nativity Cathedral and the current version stands on the place of an 11th century version which was built on the orders of Vladimir Monomakh. The interior features stunning frescos as well as a necropolis where the sons of Yury Dolgoruky have been interred along with several members of various noble families from Suzdal.
  • Spaso-Yefimiev Monastery (1352) – this is the largest monastery in Suzdal and with its large fortified walls it is often mistaken for being the Suzdal Kremlin. Today it is a museum with various exhibitions including its main cathedral with its amazing frescos.
  • Museum of the Wooden Architecture and Peasant life – this collection of wooden buildings, including churches and windmills, from various parts of European Russia is one of the best of architectural museums in Russia. It now resembles a village in itself made up of beautiful examples of 17th - 19th century wooden buildings which have been brought here to protect them from fire or from being dismantled.
  • Trading Rows (1812) – Suzdal’s set of trading rows are still used for their original purpose and a souvenir market is held outside where you can buy a whole range of souvenirs, including bottles of the mead for which Suzdal is famed.

 Duration: 3½ hours |  Transportation: by a private car

 Free time in Suzdal.

 Night in Suzdal.



  Breakfast in the hotel.

 Transfer from Suzdal to Ivanovo

 Distance: 80km

 Upon arrival to Ivanovo – an excursion around the city known as the City of Brides or Russian Manchester. The highlights of this tour includes:

  • Museum of Ivanovo Chintz - chintz is a type of cloth printed with patterns of various colours which Ivanovo became famous for making. This museum tells of the development of the whole textile trade in Ivanovo from its very beginnings to the present day.
  • Svyato-Vvedensky Convent – in comparison with other Golden Ring cities, Ivanovo is a young city and its main convent was also only relatively recently founded although its cathedral, with its distinctive black domes, dates from just before the Revolution.

 Duration: 2 hours |  Transportation: by a private car

 Free time in the city.

 Transfer from Ivanovo to Plyos.

 Distance: 70km

 Arrival in Plyos and check-in at the hotel. Night in Plyos.



  Breakfast in the hotel.

 Excursion around Plyos – this excursion includes visits to:

  • Isaak Levitan House Museum - the great Russian landscape artist lived in this house with friends between 1888 and 1890. He painted over 2000 works which were inspired by scenes of nature around Plyos and the museum has several originals of Levitan and other landscape painters.
  • Landscape Museum – a unique collection of paintings by Russian landscape painters including Ivan Shishkin, Aleksey Savrasov, Nikolai Dubovskoy, Rufin Sudkovsky and Vasily Polenov. The museum also has displays detailing the techniques, history and development of Russian landscape art.
  • City tour around Plyos – Plyos is beautiful for its location on the Volga among several hills. The city also boasts many 19th century merchant houses and beautiful churches. During the excursion you will go up to a viewing platform where you can enjoy great views of the city.

Duration:  2 hours  |  Transportation: walking

 Free time in Plyos.

 16:00 | Transfer from Plyos to Kostroma.

 Distance: 73km

 18:30 | Arrival in Kostroma and check-in at the hotel. Night in Kostroma.



 Breakfast in the hotel.

  City tour of Kostroma. The highlights of the tour are:

  • Ipatievsky Monastery – a great example of a 15th century Russian fortified monastery. Its main landmark is the five-domed Trinity Cathedral which is decorated with colourful frescos and features an impressive iconostasis. In 1613 the 16-year-old Mikhail Romanov was here when he received an embassy from Moscow to tell him he had been elected tsar. His acceptance was then celebrated in a service at the Trinity Cathedral. 
  • Museum of Wooden Architecture – in the area around the Ipatievsky Monastery some of the best examples of wooden buildings have been collected from various parts of the Kostroma and neighbouring regions. Here you can see windmills, banyas, 19th century wooden estate houses, churches from the 16th and 17th century, as well as other wonderful wooden buildings. 
  • Historical centre of Kostroma - the historical centre of Kostroma is fan shaped and according to a nice urban legend it is this shape after Catherine the Great placed her fan on the map thereby inspiring the city planners. The main square in the centre is Susaninskaya Ploschad which is surrounded by grand 19th century classical style administrative buildings and trading rows.

 Duration: 3 hours.  Transportation: by a private car

 Free time in the city.

 17:00 | Transfer from Kostroma to Yaroslavl

 Distance: 80km

 18:30 | Arrival to Yaroslavl and check-in at the hotel. Night in Yaroslavl.



 Breakfast in the hotel.

  Walking tour around Yaroslavl – during this tour you will visit the following sights:

  • Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery – one of the largest, richest and best fortified monasteries of the 16th century. It is closely associated with the volunteer army of Minin and Pozharsky which was based here while it prepared to liberate Moscow from the Poles in the early 17th century. Inside the monastery is the Transfiguration Cathedral which is the oldest surviving building in Yaroslavl and was built on the site of an even older church between 1506 and 1516. It interior is decorated with spectacular frescos. To protect these unique frescos it can only be visited between May and October.
  • Volga Embankment - this embankment running along the River Volga is one of the prettiest places in Yaroslavl and several historical churches and other buildings are located here. From here you can enjoy great views of the largest river in Europe. 
  • St Elijah the Prophet’s Church (17th Century) - this church is a masterpiece of ancient Russian architecture which is stunningly beautiful on the outside and on the inside thanks to its detailed frescos and amazing iconostasis. To protect these unique frescos it can only be visited between May and October.

Duration: 3 hours.  Transportation: walking

 Free time in the city.

  17:00 | Transfer from Yaroslavl to Rostov Veliky. 

 Distance: 60km

 18:00 | Arrival in Rostov Veliky and check-in at the hotel. Night in Rostov.


Rostov Veliky

  Breakfast in the hotel.

  City tour of Rostov Veliky - On this excursion you will visit:

  • Rostov Kremlin – the former residence of the metropolitan of the Rostov Eparchy which is called a kremlin due to its large, fortified walls which were built more to look impressive rather than to provide a defensive function. The white stone kremlin is a monument of pre-Petrine Russian architecture.
  • Dormition Cathedral – the main cathedral in the kremlin which dates from the 16th century and was modelled of the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. It is 60 metres in height. Next to the cathedral is a belfry containing 15 unique bells, whose sound is widely celebrated across Russia.
  • Museum of Rostov Finift – Rostov finift enamel painting has been a famous local handicraft since the 18th century. This museum has over 3000 examples on display.
  • Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery – Rostov’s Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery was founded in approximately 1390 by Bishop Jacob (Yakov) of Rostov, after whom it is now named. After the Kremlin it is the most beautiful sight in the city with its eclectic Conception of Anna Church and St Jacob of Rostov's Church.

 Duration: 3 hours.  Transportation: by car

 Free time in the city.

 17:00 | Transfer from Rostov Veliky to Pereslavl-Zalessky.

 Distance: 65km

. 18:00 | Arrival in Pereslavl-Zalessky and check-in at the hotel. Night in Pereslavl.



  Breakfast in the hotel.

  City tour around Pereslavl-Zalessky - on this tour you will see:

  • Uspensky Goritsky Monastery – the most beautiful monastery in Pereslavl-Zalessky which stands on a hill overlooking the city. Today it is the main museum-reserve in Pereslavl.
  • Earthen Mounds – these 12th century mounds were once the base for defensive kremlin walls which marked the boundaries of the city. Located inside the mounds is Red Square which has several ancient cathedrals.
  • Transfiguration Cathedral - this 12th century cathedral is one of the main sights of Pereslavl-Zalessky and the oldest surviving building in the city and indeed the oldest surviving example of ancient Vladimir-Suzdal architecture. It is one of the first stone monuments to be constructed in the mid-12th century after a long break in construction work following the death of Vladimir Monomakh.  (CLOSED FROM OCTOBER TO MAY)
  • Nikitsky Monastery – this is the oldest monastery in Pereslavl-Zalessky and is believed to have been founded in the 12th century and named in honour of St Nicetas (Nikita) of Pereslavl. St Nicetas was a stylite, which meant he enclosed himself at the top of a pillar, and his reputation as a healer bought fame to the monastery. In the 15th century the monastery came under the patronage of Ivan the Terrible, who believed that prayers held at the monastery helped cure his son.
  • Peter the Great’s Boat Museum-Estate – in 1692 a young Peter the Great came to Pereslavl to test out his toy flotilla which became the first naval flotilla in Russia. The boat Fortuna is the only surviving vessel from this toy flotilla which you can see preserved at this museum.

Duration:  3½ hours  |  Transportation: by a private car

 14:00 | Transfer from Pereslavl-Zalessky to Sergiev Posad.

 Distance: 66km

sergiev posad

  Guided tour around the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra – this includes a visit to three of its churches:

  • Trinity Cathedral (1422) – a masterpiece of Russian architecture and the oldest surviving building inside the monastery. It is here that the relics of St Sergius are held. The cathedral’s ancient iconostasis also holds icons with were painted by Andrey Rublev and his pupils.
  • Dormition Cathedral (1559-1585) – built on the orders and using the donations of Ivan the Terrible taking the Moscow Kremlin’s Dormition Cathedral as an example.
  • St Sergius’ Church and Refectory (1686-1692) - here you will see the stunning Moscow-baroque style interior which is considered to have one of the most beautiful carved iconostases in Russia.

 Duration: 1½h

 Free time in the city.

 18:00 | Transfer from Sergiev Posad to Moscow. This might be the most difficult transfer along the route due to traffic jams into Moscow.

 Distance: 74km

. 21:00 | Expected time of arrival in Moscow.

  • The tour is available the whole year round starting on any day, but please take into account that the museum’s working hours and days-off vary so we reserve the right to change the itinerary while trying to save the excursion programme.
  • Optional excursions should be booked before the start of the tour to schedule the itinerary.
  • Tickets to museums cannot be sold without an excursion with a guide.
  • In cities of the Golden Ring where there are no 4 star hotels, the calculation includes hotels of 3 stars.
  • All excursions/guided tours included in the itinerary are private which means private guides and private transport along the programme - unless otherwise stated.
  • Best time to travel on this route: from the end of April to mid-October and from December to mid-March.





Date of the tour


Number of travellers

Children (6-16):


Cost of the tour in
  • Individual excursions according to the programme.
  • Entrance tickets to the museums
  • Transfers in a private car according to the programme.
  • Second class tickets for the high-speed train from Moscow to Vladimir
  • Accommodation in a hotel of a category of your choice, central location, standard DBL rooms with breakfast.
  • 24h emergency support during the tour
  • Visa support documents
Not included
  • Meals (except for breakfast where stated).
  • Tips for the guides and drivers.
  • Optional excursions.
Country of residence
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